BERNARD TOWNSHIP, N.J. — Elizabeth Jaeger says she got more than she asked for when police were called after she got hit by a car.
She was out for a jog in a residential neighborhood near her home when she says a car swung out of a driveway and hit her. She said she felt dizzy but declined an ambulance, instead she opted for a police report in case she felt worse later on.
But when an officer arrived at the accident scene, she said he didn’t ask what happened, but instead wanted to know why she was running on the street and not on the sidewalk.
“And I said what am I supposed to do in the winter when there’s snow?” asked Jaeger, “What really set me off is when he said that I should get a treadmill.”
It didn’t end there.
“He showed up at my house and he said that I’m giving you this ticket because I didn’t like the way you talked to me. And I’m finding you 100% responsible for the accident because of your attitude,” she explained.
The law Jaeger was cited for states: “Where sidewalks are provided it shall be unlawful for any pedestrian to walk along and upon an adjacent roadway.”
Bernard Township Police admit it’s not something they enforce often.
“But then again we don’t very often have an incident where the runner in the roadway ran into a car,” said Lt. Ted Reese, who heads up the traffic division for the department. “And that’s really the purpose of the statute, is to ensure that we minimize the opportunity for accidents to happen, such as this one.”
Jaeger said she had to pay a $54 fine. The Police Chief said that if she felt the summons was unfair, then she should have contested it in court. But Jaeger explained that she couldn’t afford to fight the ticket, because she’s currently unemployed.
“Her other opportunity, if she felt she wasn’t treated fairly, she could have made a citizens complaint and that would have been forward to our internal affairs function and it would have been investigated,” said Lt. Reese.
The Police Chief said he’s glad no one was seriously hurt.